Public payphone in Stotfold could be removed as 'unnecessary' - here's how to have your say about the plans

The future of the phone on Baldock Road is up for consultation

By Laura Hutchinson
Monday, 17th May 2021, 11:09 am
Updated Monday, 17th May 2021, 11:12 am
Should the payphone stay or go? CBC wants you to have your say.
Should the payphone stay or go? CBC wants you to have your say.

A public payphone in Stotfold could be set for removal as BT has asked residents to have their say over the plans for its future.

BT is proposing to remove payphone in Baldock Road, Stotfold, that it has identified as 'unnecessary'.

As part of the process, Central Bedfordshire Council is required to undertake a public consultation and to inform BT of the results.

The consultation, which runs from today (May 17) until Friday June 18 will enable residents to comment on whether they agree or object to the proposals.

To make sure that the local communities are fully informed, BT has placed consultation notices on the payphone and the council is asking the community for its opinions on the proposals.

The council conducted a similar consultation during 2020 when BT proposed to remove 28 payphones, they had deemed unnecessary across Central Bedfordshire. The council consulted with the public and then objected to their removal, as there was general support for retaining the boxes in villages – either as payphones or adopting them for community use.

In accordance with Ofcom guidance, local people will be given a month to have their say on the new consultation ahead of the council responding to BT. A final decision notice will then be published on the Council’s website which will outline the position on the proposed removals.

Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Central Bedfordshire Councils Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “I would like to encourage all residents to participate and tell us whether they agree or disagree with our draft decision to object to the proposed payphones being removed and the reasons why.

"The people who live, work or visit the areas where the payphones are located are in the best position to know the impact of their removal would have on them and their community.

“We will also be consulting with the two town councils to seek their views on the proposals, and we will be considering a number of other factors, before we submit our final response to BT, including usage of the payphones in the last year and housing deprivation around where they are located.”

If BT disagrees with any of the objections made by the council, it will ask to formally review those objections with the local authority and Ofcom will consider the decision on the proposed closure.